Past Meetup

It is impossible to prove that God does not exist: discuss

This Meetup is past

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Our last meeting was a bit one-sided, with Ariel rather out-numbered by others who were impatient with his reliance on faith in god as the basis for morality.

I am hoping that this discussion will be as accessible to believers as non-believers - it is a question of whether or not a strong statement about god can be proven. The focus I hope we will have is on the kind of arguments that might count in establishing such a statement. So I suggest that you can prepare by a)collecting arguments for and against god's existence, so that we can recap them early on, and then start to consider b)what it means to say that "it is NOT possible.." to say something, does this mean "it will never be possible.." and if so, how can we make such very general statements? then c) what is the difference between talking of "proof" rather than "being sure" or "being certain" or "believing" and our statement being "beyond reasonable doubt"? What does it mean to "prove" a philosophical statement? Is it the same as mathematical proof or is it more like legal proof? Or neither?

We covered similar ground when talking about agnosticism some months ago. I wonder if we can take a cool look this time at a strong statement about proving god's non-existence, as a tool for thinking about philosophical arguemnt more generally. In other words, what weaker statements might we be forced to consider: it may not be possible to be sure of god's non-existence, for example.

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